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The walk without a camera!

I’ve returned to Banff after two weeks away in England. We went on a long walk to Whitehills (the next small town along the coast westwards from Banff) and back with the dog today. You can see our GPS track in the image below (total distance 6 miles). We enjoyed a lot of meandering when we were throwing the ball for the dog (who has never got the hang of ‘fetch’) on the beach. We also saw grey seal basking on the rocks at Whitehills, curlew and a heap of other sea birds were dishing about like wind-up toys on the beaches. There were heaps of other seabirds diving into the sea with ferocity in order to catch their breakfast. The Scottish landscape is beyond breathtaking and we find ourselves living in a small town which must be one of Scotland’s best kept secrets. And, by the way, Whitehills famous for this.

Note to self………remember to take the camera next time!

Banff coastline
The dog walk 6 October 2019

THE BOOK REVIEW (BR 2) – Between Silk and Cyanide: A Code Maker’s War 1941-45

Calling all spies!!!

Backstabbing, interdepartmental rivalry, leaks, lies, deception and dishonourable behaviour.

No, we’re not talking about the UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet or the current Brexit shambles. We’re talking, instead, about the highly secretive Special Operations Executive (SOE) also known as ‘The Baker Street Irregulars’ or ‘Churchill’s Secret Army.’ For American readers, the SOE formed the blueprint for the OSS which, later, became the CIA.

The author of the book, Leo Marks was certainly an irregular and he was the man who took care of the code making within the SOE. Leo’s book doesn’t only talk about secret codes, it details how the SOE grew and changed during World War 2. The SOE was the department that parachuted many extraordinarily brave people (agents) into occupied Europe. In many cases, the agents were caught and tortured and executed by the Nazis.

Among many other things, Leo’s book also discusses the rows and rivalries which took place between the UK’s various military and government departments during World War 2. Some things never change!

If you are interested in espionage, counter-espionage, secret codes, and how World War 2 was fought on many different and surprising fronts, then this is the book for you.

I give Between Silk and Cyanide a well-deserved Richard score a 10/10

PS: there is a curious cross-link between Leo’s book and 84 Charring Cross Road.

The Poo Sucking Pump

If, like we do, you live on a boat then the human waste (AKA pee and poo) has to go somewhere. And so, we have a sealed (very much sealed) tank on the boat known as the Black Tank and, every now and then, we go to the ‘Poo Sucker’ which empties the gently fermenting contents of tank into the town sewage system. Dumping human waste into the sea, canals and rivers is not allowed. Pumping out is a very quick, easy and fragrant process. The image shows the machine which sucks out all the waste.

Our boat, Lucie

THE BOOK REVIEW (BR 1) – Trustee From The Tool Room

Well, I have done the odd film review (usually out of the ordinary films) in the past but now it is time for the odd book review too! I’ll go to any lengths to bore people rigid!

Please see my most recent film review + links to other film reviews here.

I’ve been working my way steadily through books I read many, many years ago and I came across a Kindle version of Trustee from the Tool Room written by Nevile Shute . I must have read the book for the first time in the 1960s. Nevile Shute wrote several books which were made into films – notably, A Town Like Alice and On The Beach

Now, you might think a book published in 1960 would be outdated but a good story remains a good story no matter when it was written (think Dickens here).

Trustee From The Toolroom was written before satellite communications, satellite navigation, cellular telephones, fibre optics, wifi and the Internet. This book will take the form of a nostalgia trip for the old geezers like me and, for youngsters, it will provide an interesting insight into the way things used to be before we were deluged with the technology that surrounds us today and the technology we now take for granted. And, by today’s standards, you might find some of what might be described as politically incorrect language just a little jarring but this is a book of its time.

Engineers and technical people might enjoy this book.

Reading Trustee From The Tool Room is a little bit like watching one of those old black and white films from way back. Basically, it is the satisfying story about an unassuming yet talented and skilled man who goes sets off an extraordinary adventure for valid and noble reasons. Like I said, a good read.

I give Trustee From The Tool Room a Richard score of 9/10

THE FILM REVIEW (FR 13) – Margarita, with a Straw

Well, I am back to blogging again and so I really must tell you about this film – Margarita, with a Straw. This really is a “Don’t miss” film.

I wondered, when I saw this film on Netflix, it it was my kind of film. I nearly didn’t watch it, but I am so glad that I did. I’m not sure how I missed this film which came out in 2014. The film points firmly towards the emotional difficulties and frustrations suffered by people who suffer from cerebral palsy.

The film is just WONDERFUL! It is such an uplifting film on so many levels. It was so good, I watched it through twice! The lead actress, Kalki Koechlin truly nails her part in this intriguing film – a simply stunning performance.

Margarita, with a Straw

I give this film (new award scoring system for the rebirth of this blog) a well-deserved Richard Score 10/10!

Interesting background to this excellent film here.

My Earlier Film Reviews:

Film Review 12 – Unfinished Sky

Film Review 11 – Jab Harry Met Sejal

Film Review 10 – Deception

Film Review 9 – Thi Mai

Film Review 8 – Jab We Met and Dhanak

Film Review 7 – Marguerite

Film Review 6 – Queen

Film Review 5 – The Spanish Affair & The Spanish Affair 2

Film Review 4 – Rust and Bone

Film Review 3 – The African Doctor

Film Review 2 – Arctic Heart

Film Review 1 – The Art of Loving

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